Last week dadmarketing had the pleasure of interacting with the excellent Tiny Blue Lines, a wonderful website we’re happy to have discovered. Highly recommended.
In our conversation, she brought up an interesting point.
You can head to our Twitter site if you want to read our discussion, but she made a comment worthy of further exploration when she said, “…props to all the dads who don’t think of (handling baby’s night feedings) as ‘helping’!”
That made us think.
In fact, it was enough to make us look up the true definition of help, which can be defined several ways, as noted at dictionary.com. Those most applicable in this case would be:
- To give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist;
- To make easier or less difficult; contribute to; facilitate;
- To be useful or profitable to.
However, when put in context with night feedings and caring for a baby – a role most associated with mom – it seems to puts dad back in the assistant/helper role, doesn’t it?
Consider the converse: if a dad was working on a car in the garage all day and mom said, “I helped my husband work on the car today,” wouldn’t that also connote feelings that she was merely an aide, or an assistant?
And then it hit us that this is one of the many reasons dadmarketing exists.
The more we can all rid the world of these labels, stereotypes and preconceived notions, the more we’ll be able to say, dad helped to feed the baby during the night, and it will simply sound like he provided what was necessary to accomplish a task, or contributed to something, or was useful.
And it won’t sound like he was only assisting his wife with one of her jobs during the night. And when a dad cooks a meal it won’t sound like he was being a good husband and helping mom out in the kitchen. And, maybe, just maybe, we can rid the use of that absurd “Mr. Mom” name.
Tiny Blue Lines’ comment was indeed thought-provoking, because props for sure, to those dads who don’t think of it as helping, but further props to those moms and dads who don’t categorize it a mom or dad job in the first place.